Transphasic shields in the novels

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by DS9forever, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    Speaking of "less" versus "fewer," I think we should write to Justin Bieber and get him to release another song retconning why he sang about "One Less Lonely Girl" when in the grammatical context of the original song he could only have meant "One Fewer Lonely Girls."

    I realize the way he said it originally was an artistic choice, but it just doesn't stand up to grammatical scrutiny.

    In all seriousness I like Christopher's work and I have no problem assuming "neutronium" is shorthand for some more reasonable hull and door material. People talk like that all the time in real life... We describe tube TVs and monitors as "CRTs" even though Cathode Rays went out of fashion as a display technology decades ago.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Couldn't he have meant that that one girl was less lonely than she'd been before?
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Also, Gotye should re-title his famous song "Somebody Whom I Used to Know" and Felicia Day should re-title her latest "I'm the One Who's Cool"...
     
  4. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    "There Isn't Any Sunshine" by Bill Withers
     
  5. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, I just figure Star Trek has some way of getting around real science and go with it

    Yeah, but that was because they assimilated Admiral Janeway.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^As I already said in post #16, the Borg knocked the armor down to 40% integrity within a minute in the first battle, long before they assimilated the admiral's shuttle. So again, it was never presented as some magic, unbreakable armor -- just as something that provided a limited, short-term advantage against the Borg and allowed a starship to survive a minute or two longer against them than they otherwise could.
     
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A shuttle shrugging off damage from a Negh'Var cruiser, or an Intrepid class ship shrugging off damage from multiple Borg Cubes strikes me as "magic" even if minor damage was done after enough shooting. It was a shame that the asburdity in Endgame pretty much had to become canon. The whole episode was akin to turning on godmode in a video game. Then again the Borg had already been sufficently watered down as a threat in Dark Frontier and Unimatrix Zero, but not to the point of shrugging off all damage and blowing up Borg cubes with single shots.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Why? It's exactly the same way that most modern Trek shows always treated shielding and battle damage -- each successive hit reduces shield strength to a lower percentage, much like in a computer game. They may have said this armor was more powerful and invented a silly-looking visual effect to represent it, but functionally its only difference from normal shielding was a matter of degree.

    If your shields are knocked down to 40% less than a minute into a battle, that means you'd be dead in less than two minutes. That's pretty damn far from "magic" or invulnerability.


    There's nothing about it that's inconsistent with how we've always seen the Borg portrayed. Look at the very first time we saw Borg drones in "Q Who." The first drone was easily taken down by phaser fire; the second was invulnerable to it because the Borg had assessed the weapon and adapted to it. That's what the Borg do. They never start out invulnerable; they don't need to, since they don't care enough about individual drones or ships to have a problem with sacrificing them. They just let themselves be shot or blown up until they figure out how to adapt, and then they become immune to that particular weapon.

    In this case, the weapons in question were from decades in the future, so the Borg hadn't seen them before and thus wouldn't have adapted to them. So of course they were effective against the Borg at first. But as is always the case, the Borg would eventually adapt and the advantage would be rendered useless. This was a major plot point in the Destiny trilogy; Starfleet restricted the use of the transphasic torpedoes because they knew it was only a matter of time before the Borg would adapt to them and render them as useless as any other weapon.

    So no -- no "magic," no "god mode." Just a temporary leg up against the Borg, a couple of weapons from the future that they hadn't adapted to yet but inevitably would sooner or later.
     
  9. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And yet the Borg queen felt the need to have her ships withdraw as the armor let Voyager survive long enough to pop Borg cubes like balloons with the transphasic torpedoes.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, yes, that's exactly what I just said -- that the armor let them survive long enough to achieve another goal. As you say, it was the torpedoes that caused the Queen to withdraw, so I don't know how that even counts as a point about the armor.
     
  11. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well the survivability was with one ship against multiple Borg Cubes which is better than Starfleet ships would do in that situation seeing as one cube can take on a whole fleet.

    Plus the Borg seemed to be throwing everything they had at Voyager so the fact that they survived more that .00000000000000000001 seconds in the situation kind of makes the armor sound impressive.


    Any way the armor stuff isn't transphasic shielding. Transphasic shielding was something Sisko and Vaughn's guys cooked up in Rough Beasts of Empire before they fought the Borg of in the During Destiny part at the beginning.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't understand why this is even an argument. Yes, obviously the entire point of bringing back armor from the future is that it's a better defense than contemporary shielding. But "better" does not mean "absolutely impossible to defeat." It just means it gives them an advantage they didn't have before -- but, as is always the case with the Borg, that advantage only lasted until the Borg managed to adapt, because that is what they do.


    Again, sure, impressive, but not "God mode" undefeatable. That's my point. It's an edge, but only a temporary edge, like every other weapon you can use against the Borg.
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Like a godmode cheat or hack in a multiplayer shooter. Only a matter of time before they figure it, patch it and you're vulnerable again...
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Okay, evidently the word "god" doesn't suggest the same things in computer games that it suggests to the rest of us. In most cases the title suggests a certain insurmountability. Well, unless you're a Klingon. Or Xena. Or Nietzsche.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It usually means invulnerability, all weapons, infinite ammo etc.

    But the developers obviously don't want people using cheats or hacks to that effect in multiplayer games. The patches/updates released for games usually disable the latest round of hacks and cheats that some find and exploit unfairly. Hence, the analogy to the Borg adapting and rendering the "invincible" armour useless.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Okay, then my objection remains. Nobody ever said the armor was invincible. It very clearly was not. It was just 26 years more advanced than what they had at the time and thus gave them more protection than they otherwise would've had. Not infinite protection, just more. So I don't know where the hell all this stuff about invincibility and "god modes" is coming from. There is nothing to that effect in "Endgame" itself.
     
  17. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was actually talking about how the armor was useful against the Borg not whether it was a god mode or not.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Of course thinking about it I think the reason in universe that Starfleet would go with armor instead of shields is that the Borg can drain shields where as armor can't be drained by those tractor beam things the Borg use.
     
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "absolutely impossible to defeat."? No.
    Being able to take 100s of times more punishment than conventional shielding without failing? Yes.
    Realistically speaking, no one (except, perhaps, suicidal luddites) would throw away such a technology due to a thermodynamic issue such as the one you technobabbled - one that, as Endgame showed, didn't prevent the shielding to function well for an extended period.

    And the borg's ability to adapt to anything is just as magical - if not more so - than the armor from Endgame.
    Yet you seem to have nothing against it (much like warp, transporters, etc). Whatever your criterion for choosing what's 'realistic', it's not scientifical plausibility.
     
  19. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    Well there are 2 issues.

    1. Era vs. Era fighting - when ships from different centuries fight each other
    In a Mirror, Darkly: Constitution class vs Vulcan cruiser - easy win for the Defiant
    Future's End: Intrepid class vs Aeon class - Voyager is able to withstand several attacks from the 29th century ship end even overpowers it.

    2. bonus vs.
    I was under the impression that energy weapons are more effective against shields and torpedoes against armor. But that doesn't have to be always true and on the other hand the the ablative generators could be less impregnable to Borg weapons then Klingon weaponry.

    A possibility is that they did not installed the generators at full efficiency. Janeway was not an engineer and she perhaps only brought the technology and not exact blueprints.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    A small, one-person ship. Evidently Braxton just happened to survive the explosion in the future and took matters into his own hands, so he had to use the tiny shuttle he had rather than mustering a more effective battleship.


    Well, as I mentioned above, real physics says that dense physical armor would actually increase the danger to the crew from charged-particle weapons, because those weapons would cause the armor to emit lethal x-rays. And since most "energy" weapons in Trek are actually particle or plasma weapons, that means that physical armor should be literally worse than useless against beam weapons.